Fungal Foundations: Spring Mycology Series

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Unearth the Fascinating World of Fungi 

From their rich medicinal history to their vital roles in ecological cycles, fungi have captivated our curiosity and imagination since the earliest days of our human ancestry. To embrace and explore this age-old relationship with the fungal world, the Horn Farm Center is partnering with educators from the Eastern Penn Mushroomers Club for a three-part series spotlighting the diversity, versatility, nuance, and significance of nature's great recyclers.

We'll enrich our relationships with fungi by visiting different corners of their uses and mycology, including cultivation, cooking, biology, land tending, and new frontiers of possibility with branches as numerous as fungal hyphae. In addition to specified coverage, each class will likely involve a foray in search of fungal specimens to ID at the Horn Farm Center. 

All sessions will take place at the Horn Farm Center.

Session 1: Introduction to Mycology

Saturday, June 8th from 1:30pm-4:30pm ($30) 

Optional meal / Q&A: 4:30-5pmPack in a dinner and stick around after the class to ask additional questions and hang out with the instructors and other students. 

In this class, we'll learn the basics of fungal morphology (their structural descriptions: cap, gills, stipe, hyphae, etc). We'll explore habitats, varieties, nomenclature, early relationship with humans, spore printing, microscopy, and tips for safe foraging, sharing interactive examples of each subject. We’ll supplement the class with a plethora of suggested readings, books and websites.

We will also explore the history of fungi identification, how it came to be recognized as a kingdom of its own and the immense progress that’s been made in the field since then. During the class, we'll take an hour walk through the woodlands of Horn Farm Center to collect specimens and identify the trees that they are associated with. At the end of this class, we'll come together and attempt to identify the mushrooms with reference books and spore prints. 

Other topics that may be lightly covered or included in follow-up include: mycoremediation, mycoforestry, and alternative uses like water filtration, fiber, dye, building materials, and packaging. While the class covers mycological basics, new and exploratory science in the field of mycology may also be shared. 

*Note: we recommend this class for anyone interested in a primer on mushroom identification and mycology! If you are simply lookng for an introduction to fungi and/or cannot commit to the full series, this class will spotlight all the basics and set you up for further exploration. 

Session 2: Medicinal and Culinary Uses (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, June 15th, 1:30-4:30pm ($35) 

Optional meal / Q&A: 4:30-5pmPack in a dinner and stick around after the class to ask additional questions and hang out with the instructors and other students. 

Re-emphasizing the importance of proper identification before consumption, we will begin this class with another foray in the hopes of finding some edible or medicinal mushrooms! We will review the most commonly used medicinal and edible mushrooms and together cook some mushroom-based meals. Discussion topics will include culinary methods, preparation styles, and commonly used species.

Additionally, we will together make a turkey tail tincture and discuss the process of dehydrating mushrooms and deriving medicinal benefits. Students will each go home with their own small turkey tail tincture assembled in class. 

*Note: if you register for this class and have any food allergies or dietary limitations, please let us know by emailing education@hornfarmcenter. This will help us choose mushroom-themed meals that accommodate all members of the class! 

Session 3: Mushroom Cultivation (SOLD OUT)

Saturday, June 22nd from 10am-1pm ($35)

Optional meal / Q&A: 1-1:30pmPack in a lunch and stick around after the class to ask additional questions and hang out with the instructors and other students. 

In this class, we will discuss the different varieties of mushrooms that can be grown at home, how to begin cultivation, the equipment to use, and suggested resources. We will demonstrate how to obtain spores and/or cultures to create spawn. We will also show various methods to cultivate mushrooms with very little effort. Joining us will be a guest speaker with experience growing different types of fungi, and together we will inoculate logs and start grow-bags of oyster mushrooms, lion’s mane, reishi, and/or shiitake. Small-to-large scale mushroom farming and advanced laboratory cultivation may also be discussed. 

Program Notes:

Spaces in each session are limited on account of equipment and facility needs. 

We plan for each class to take place partially outdoors. Please check the weather in advance and dress accordingly. Be prepared for walking on uneven terrain and potentially muddy, wet conditions. 

Not recommended for children under 12. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and registered separately. 

All programs are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances including inclement weather. Participants will receive an email in the days preceding the program for any changes or cancellations. You can review our current Cancellation and Refund Policy here

Parking takes place in the field above the farmhouse. More info on arrival, parking, etc. will be shared in a reminder email before the start of the program. 

About the Instructors

Niles Lavin 

Niles is a student at Millersville University studying for his bachelors in anthropology. He has been the foray coordinator for the Eastern Pennsylvania Mushroomers Club for 4 years. He is on the board of directors for a Harrisburg area nonprofit that creates sustainable community gardens in urban areas called Love Reforms Cooperative. He has been the chef at Food not Bombs, Harrisburg  for 12 years. He is a certified herbalist, HAM radio technician, and arborist. Niles lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and has been involved in many community action campaigns including the USDA and EPA initiative Local Food Local Places.

Ariane Leitzel

Ari has spent many years studying the natural environment through both academic and non-traditional methods. As the Eastern Pennsylvania Mushroomers Club Newsletter Editor, she has spent the last 4 years immersed in the fascinating field of Mycology. A resident of Harrisburg, she is highly involved with supporting those experiencing homelessness, community gardening and outreach efforts in the Allison Hill neighborhood. Her niche being in permaculture's principle of "people care," Ari thrives at the intersection of caring for the environment and cultivating community, with a strong sense of purpose in sharing her passions with others eager to learn.

June 8th, 2024 1:30 PM to June 22nd, 2024 1:00 PM
4945 Horn Road
York, PA 17406
United States
Mobile: (717) 757-6441
Event Fee(s)
Optional Donation